Letter: Flowers' skewed vision of Kane reflects ignorance

Christine Flowers

To the Times:

It amazes me that Christine Flowers can willfully write column after column that defends the wicked and criticizes the honorable.

She continually attacks state Attorney General Kathleen Kane for referring the defense of a law to the governor, who supports it. A walk down “Legal History Lane” might be beneficial for Ms. Flowers. As a lawyer, shouldn’t Ms. Flowers know that referring cases has been a common practice for decades of attorneys general? Ultimately, it is indeed only Flowers that uses her partisan blinders to ignore the truth to satisfy her own prejudices and beliefs.

In that vein, her latest column is perhaps her worst and most terrifyingly ironic. While glossing over the merits of a then-well-intended effort to protect abused children, she attacks our attorney general, who has emerged as perhaps the most dedicated protector of children from abuse in our state’s history. Gov. Tom Corbett, in contrast, dragged his heels on the Jerry Sandusky investigation, leaving our youth at risk to a convicted predator.

Flowers demonstrates her ignorance of the actual law of Pennsylvania. The Legislature wanted the attorney general to be an independent agency when it enacted the Commonwealth Attorney Act. 71 P.S. § 732-201. The attorney general is actually empowered under Section 732-204 to provide her own independent opinion of the constitutionality of a law, and if the governor disagrees with it, he may seek a declaratory judgment on his own. Thus the actual separation of power as envisioned by our very own Legislature is actually being followed.

I suspect Ms. Flowers infers that Attorney General Kane is derelict of duty under 71 P.S. § 732-204(3) for failing to defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban; however this section further indicates that this duty is only triggered when a controlling court has not spoken to the issue. The United States Supreme Court did when the federal Defense of Marriage Act was stricken as unconstitutional. The precedent was cast against this abhorrent practice of the denial of civil rights to loving couple. Ms. Flowers simply shows her partisan biases rather than being an actual student of the law.

Flowers chooses to focus solely on one decision to paint Kane as failing to live up to her duty but nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to her duty of protecting the most vulnerable, Kane has showed dedication and resolve. In the end, is there any duty more important – or better yet, more civically just – than protecting our kids?

Ms. Flowers’ columns show not only a lack of respect for Kane but for the truly dutiful work done day-in, day-out by the agency as a whole and for the more than three million people who voted for her.

MICHAEL F. SCHLEIGH, Esq.